New Model News

Buick adds premium Avenir trim level to Envision SUV for 2021

The Avenir trim level will be offered for the first time on the Envision.

Photo courtesy of Buick

The Buick Envision is getting the premium treatment for the 2021 model year. The automaker, who didn't change much about the two-row SUV for 2020 after giving it a significant upgrade for 2019, will add the 2021 Buck Envision Avenir as an option for buyers.

The five-seater SUV is designed to compete against premium SUVs like the Acura RDX and Infiniti QX50. It's not designed with sporty dynamics or brisk acceleration like luxury SUVs from Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW.

"The all-new 2021 Envision is part of Buick's strategy to grow its family of premium SUVs," said Duncan Aldred, vice president, Global Buick and GMC. "It joins the new 2020 Encore GX, which offers safety, functionality and styling tailored around the size and space preferences of today's small and compact SUV buyers."

2021 Buick Envision Avenir Typically, Avenir trim level models to not get performance upgrades. Photo courtesy of Buick

Think of Buick's Avenir grade like you do GMC's Denali models. Both brands use these designations for the most premium offerings within a product line.

Non-Avenir version of the Envision will be upgraded for 2021, getting a host of safety technologies including standard automatic emergency braking, front pedestrian braking, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, forward collision assist, following distance indicator, rear park assist, safety alert seat, and a high-definition rearview camera.

Additionally, the model will be available with enhanced automatic parking assist, high-definition surround view imagery, front park assist, rear cross traffic alert, lane change alert with blind spot alert, head-up display, and rear camera mirror.

The 2021 Envision will also offer Buick's first available 10-inch diagonal touchscreen infotainment system, and it will include in-vehicle apps, such as Amazon Alexa, Spotify, Pandora, and Fox Sports. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are included.

The model will keep its turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, which generates 252 horsepower in the 2020 model. That engine is paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. Initial indications are that Buick will forego the 197-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that is in the 2020 version.

2021 Buick Envision Avenir The Avenir trim gives the Envision its most premium design features yet.Photo courtesy of Buick

More details for the Envision, including for its Avenir trim, will be revealed later this year. the 2021 Buick Envision arrives in the U.S. in early 2021.

Pricing for the model has yet to be announced. The 2020 Envision starts at $36,995 and tops out just south of $50,000 when boxes to option it close to the offerings of 2021 model are checked. Expect the Envision Avenir to be priced north of that figure.

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The Navigator gets several updates for 2022, including new styling and tech.

Lincoln

The Lincoln Navigator was one of the first ultra-luxury SUVs when it launched over two decades ago, which helped kickstart the big-vehicle craze that still rages on today. Lincoln has continued improving the Navigator over the years to the point that it's now a rolling showcase of the latest and most impressive tech, staggering luxury features, and actual utility vehicle functionality. The vehicle was last fully overhauled in 2018, but the 2022 model picks up revised style, even more premium features, and new themes for the range-topping Navigator Black Label model.


2022 Lincoln Navigator Black Label is Lincoln's top trim offering, and is available in several of its vehicles. Lincoln


Lincoln introduced two new themes as part of the Navigator's Black Label offering for 2022. The Central Park theme features dark walnut open-pore wood trim, luxury leather in an exclusive Urban Green color, and an available Black Label-exclusive Manhattan Green Metallic paint color. The Invitation theme brings open-pore Khaya wood, Venetian luxury black leather, special interior lighting elements, and brandy-colored stitching. Both themes feature laser etching and other intricate detail work inside the vheicle.


2022 Lincoln Navigator The Navigator Black Label is offered with two new themes: Central Park and Invitation.Lincoln


Black Label launched in 2014 and is Lincoln's top-end end model offering. It's available in the Nautilus, Aviator, and Navigator, and brings several vehicle features and auxiliary services to Lincoln owners. Black Label vehicle features and services include:

  • Concierge access: The Lincoln concierge can schedule service or cleaning, answer vehicle questions, and help schedule dinners or other experiences. Black Label owners also get a complimentary dinner for two, which can be scheduled through the concierge.
  • Special airport and rental car services: Lincoln partnered with Avis to provide guaranteed rental car access, an exclusive and dedicated phone line for Black Label owners, and free rentals at select airports. Owners also get a membership to CLEAR, which offers expedited airport security passage and other perks.
  • Extended complimentary maintenance plan: Black Label owners receive four years of free maintenance. If the owner lives within 50 miles of a dealer, they will pick up and deliver the vehicle so that the owner does not need to leave home. Free car washes and annual detailing are also part of the deal.

We don't have pricing details for the 2022 Navigator yet, but we expect its price tag to be similar to that of the 2021 Black Label model, which started at around $100,000 after destination. Lincoln says that it will release more information closer to the Navigator's expected on-sale date early in 2022.


2022 Lincoln Navigator Black Label models feature a staggering level of attention to detail.Lincoln

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The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder arrives on dealer lots this summer.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder doesn't have to be capable of rock crawling or deep water fording. What it has to do is service the needs of families in their daily life and give them the opportunity to competently go off-roading on rocky trails should they desire. The new, fifth-generation models does just that and adds in enough nifty features to make it among the most compelling choices for three-row SUV buyers.

The 2022 Pathfinder is thoroughly modern though not the boxy off-roader it once was. The SUV's styling harkens back to that time with a tilted, darkened C-pillar and a return to a more muscular body style. That styling makes straightforward visibility good but for shorter drivers seeing what is immediately in front of the grille is a challenge that necessitates using surround view camera technology (available only in upper trim levels) when navigating challenging terrain.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder The Pathfinder can easily handle the roads less traveled.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Under the hood is a 3.5-liter V6 that offers up 291 horsepower and torque - plenty to do the job without complaint. The SUV's nine-speed automatic transmission replaces the continuously variable transmission (CVT) from the previous generation and delivers smooth shifts. Though low-end torque isn't as robust as I like it to be, once up over 35 mph, the Pathfinder's powertrain delivers smooth, powerful sailing.

The redesigned architecture and components underpinning the Pathfinder make it stable on the road and don't allow it to wallow on winding roads. Even off-road, the suspension provides the right blend of stability while the drive dynamics allowing the driver to feel engaged with their surroundings whether on freshly paved roads, city streets, or muddy trails.

Nissan has given the Pathfinder a 6,000-pound towing capacity and even when maxed out the engine's functionality is strong as ever. The transmission can get held up in a gear mid-range when performing this function, however, with 5,000-6,000 rpms registering on the tachometer but a quick release of the gas pedal recalibrates the offering bringing it down to a more traditional 2,000 rpm range.

The eight-seater Pathfinder clearly has the Toyota Highlander in its sights, with good reason. It's the top-selling three-row SUV in the country. Nissan boasts that three adults can fit across the rear bench seat of the Pathfinder and, as long as they're average size or smaller, the marketing talking point holds up. There is gobs more room back there than there is in the Highlander.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder Nissan has given the Pathfinder ample cargo space.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Getting in and out of the third row is easy thanks to one-touch buttons on the outboard side of the second-row chairs that move the SUV's captain's seats forward creating enough room to get through to the back. Smartly, Nissan's engineers have put duplicates of these buttons on the back side of the same seats allowing third-row passengers to simply press the button to move the seat up.

The third row can also be accessed via a split between the captain's chairs as well, a space traditionally occupied by a center stowage bin/cup holders/arm rest. Owners can quickly remove the center console by opening a panel on the front and pulling the release mechanism. The one-handed operation takes seconds and the console can be easily stored in the under-floor trunk space behind the third row seat for ease.

Speaking of cargo space... The Pathfinder is one of the most spacious midsize SUVs on the market today for both passengers and cargo. There is a substantial amount of room behind the third-row seat and the under-floor storage area is nearly twice the size of the one in the Highlander. Plus, it has a feature that allows the area cover to be automatically propped up when pushed up by a user. This is especially help when carrying groceries or plants home and keeps them from being crushed.

The first- and second-row seats are suitably comfortable, even for extended periods of time and standard trig-zone climate control makes finding the right in-cabin mix easy. Bottle holders in the pockets of the front doors are exceptionally large, fitting even bulky water bottles.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder The Pathfinder's front row seats are comfortable.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

In front of the driver is a standard tachometer, speedometer, and 7.0-inch driver information display. Buyers can upgrade to a fully digital 12.3-inch instrument cluster and head-up display but they're not reason enough to upgrade to the top-tier Pathfinder Platinum on their own.

Nissan packs the new Pathfinder with a host of desirable features that make living with the Pathfinder easier including one-touch auto up/down windows, a wireless phone charger, grocery hooks in the rear cargo area, USB ports in all three rows, second-row sunshades, rear door keyless entry, wireless Apple CarPlay, and a motion-activated lift gate.

The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is priced to start at $33,410 for the two-wheel drive S base model and $35,310 for the four-wheel drive S base model. The model tops out around $50,000 with destination and delivery included, which seems fair when comparing the Pathfinder to other vehicles in the market.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder The Pathfinder can tow up to 6,000 pounds.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

If you're thinking of purchasing a Ford Explorer, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride, Honda Pilot, or Highlander, do yourself a favor and schedule a test drive of the new Pathfinder when it arrives at a dealer lot near you. You may just be surprised how seamlessly it fits into your daily life compared to the competition.

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